Video Editing

Lights. Cameras. Assets?


How to protect your commercial shoot from invading content creators.

Here’s a scenario. You’re on set for a thirty-second commercial. Everyone who needs to be there is there. Until…

The agency’s social team shows up to shoot GIFs with the talent for the brand’s social channels. The client’s in-house production team (two interns with an iPhone) arrive to produce a behind-the-scenes video for an upcoming franchisee conference. All last-minute requests. All unplanned. And it’s making your $20k-a-day director lose his mind because he’s losing the precious daylight of his ten-hour day.

Sound familiar?

The demand—and ability—to create brand content for multiple platforms is placing undue stress on commercial productions. Here are three ways to safeguard your shoots from competing agendas and epic hissy fits.

An Opportunity, Not an Imposition

Every production presents a chance to create campaign “bonus features.” Embrace it. That goofy short video you shoot on set could earn even more fan love than the scripted spots you originally plotted to produce. But you need to plan for improvisation ahead of time. At Kestum Bilt, we encourage our agency and client partners to look at our productions as an opportunity to stretch their creativity and optimize their budgets. Get everyone onboard early and you’ll enjoy a smooth production.

First, Second and Third Units

Approach your commercial shoot like a Hollywood film production by assigning multiple units to handle each task. Second units will often film smaller sequences or scenes of a movie while the first unit tackles the big stuff. That’s what we did on a recent shoot in Atlanta. Our director and DP helmed the first unit shoot, while second and third units simultaneously captured stills, social content, and b-roll as part of a well-coordinated plan. Having clearly defined roles and a multi-unit schedule eliminates the threat of confusion and chaos.

Make Room for What Ifs

You never know what can happen on a production. If you’re lucky, all will go as planned. If you’re incredibly lucky, someone will be kissed by the creativity gods and come up with a can’t-miss idea out of the blue. Next thing you know, you’ve pulled your main talent and seven crew members into a bathroom to shoot a video that is destined to go orbital. Stop. Hold it right there. Do you have the extra budget? What’s in your talent’s contract? Are you about to go into golden time? Sure, that video could be killer. But so too is the realization that you didn’t leave enough cushion for the moments of inspiration that are bound to happen when creative people get together on a set. Have a creative contingency plan. You’ll be surprised by what happens when you do.